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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Cromwell and the Glasgow Shoemakers


When Crornwell with his officers attended divine service in the high Church, he and they were faithfully dealt with by sturdy old Zachary Boyd, who officiated on the occasion. Among the crowd that were assembled to gaze at the general, as he came out of the church, was a shoemaker, the son of one of James the Sixth’s Scottish footmen.

This man had been born and bred in England, but after his father’s death had settled in Glasgow.

Cromwell eyed him among the crowd, and immediately called him by his name. The man fled; but at Cromwell’s command one of his retinue followed him, and brought him to the general’s lodgings. A number of the inhabitants remained at the door, waiting the end of the extraordinary scene. The shoemaker soon came ont in high spirits, and, showing some gold, declared he was going to drink Cromwell’s health. Many attended him to hear the particulars of his interview, and among others the grandfather of’ the narrator.

The shoemaker said he had been a playfellow of Cromwell, when they were both boys, their parents residing in the same street; and that he had fled when the general first called him, thinking he might owe him some ill-will, on account of his father being in the service of the royal family. The shoemaker had been at service in the High Church (Cathedral), and had observed, during the tirade of the preacher, Thurlow, secretary to the general, rise and whisper to Cromwell, who seemed to give him a short and stern answer. Being curious to know what had passed, the shoemaker informed his auditors that Cromwell had been so very kind and familiar with him that he ventured to ask him what the officer had said to him in church.

He proposed," said Cromwell, "to pull forth the minister by the ears; and I answered that the preacher was one fool and he another."


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